Gurinder Sandhu, the Indian-Origin Rising Star of Australia
He's a Punjabi but by nature an Aussie. He's the first man of Indian origin to play ODI cricket for Australia. He's also one of the most exciting young talents in Australia. Gurinder Sandhu is the new kid on the block and the world has taken notice by handing the young lad a lucrative IPL contract.
Since last year, Gurinder Sandhu who looks Indian but is Australian has been making waves down under in the cricket circuit. Within a few months of representing the Australian state of New South Wales, Gurinder won the Steve Waugh medal for the state's best player. In the Big Bash by dismissing the likes of Aaron Finch, Sandhu got the world of T20 talking.
This year on the 18th of January, Gurinder Sandhu became the first man of Indian origin to represent Australia in an ODI, ironically against India. He would go on to take the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane.
"When I think about the best moment of my debut, I can't really get past the wicket of Ajinkya Rahane. I guess it was pretty cool to get the first wicket nice and early. It sort of felt like, I do sort of belong here instead of going for none for 50 and then thinking about am I good enough? That was really cool," said Gurinder to NDTV.
Less than one month after making his international debut, in the IPL auction, Gurinder was snapped up by Delhi Daredevils for Rs 1.7 cr when his base price was just Rs 30 lac. NDTV spoke to Gurinder's New South Wales teammate and Australian Test team regular Nathan Lyon about how Gurinder has reacted after the IPL auction and Lyon said, "He hasn't shut up since the auction to be honest. He is going really well and he is certainly looking forward to the opportunity going over there. He is a great guy he always puts the team first. He is one of those guys you want in your team. So, I will be looking forward to watching him play the IPL."
Gurinder himself expressed surprise at the price he went for. "Never expected to go for that much. I would be happy to go at my base price and be happy to go and learn some things. So it was a big bonus. I will be playing alongside some of the big names like Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh and Angelo Mathews. It would be really really cool to go out there and see what I can learn I guess."
And for those that thought Gurinder is only a bowler well think again. In a recent Sheffield Shield match Sandhu made a serious case for himself as a batsman scoring an unbeaten 97.
From the city of Blacktown, approximately 35 km from Sydney, Sandhu also has a younger brother who is showing great promise.
"Harman is 3 years younger than me. He is 18 at the moment. He is just getting used to his body right now. He's getting a little bit stronger. Playing first grade would probably be his biggest achievement yet. Hopefully he can play some second eleven cricket for NSW and futures league cricket and then go on from there."
The brothers were born in Australia after their parents, who are originally from Punjab, moved to Sydney in the 1980s.
"I feel a little bit Indian a lot of the times. I am at home speaking Punjabi with mom. We go to the Gurudwara and the temple, whenever we can. Mom is always making daal & roti. I feel I go to the parties and there is always bhangra music but most of my time is spent around cricket."
Gurinder leaves us with a message for the fans of Delhi Daredevils "Satsriakal, namaste. I am coming to Delhi."